House prices are falling at exactly the same rate as they did during the financial crisis, new figures have shown.
The numbers, provided by The Telegraph’s new house price tracker, raise the question of whether falls will continue on the same trajectory, falling by as much as 20pc as in 2008, or whether recent drops will level off.
The Telegraph has analysed data from lenders Nationwide and Halifax to chart how far prices have fallen against the housing crash of 2008.
Nationwide and Halifax’s indices are believed to offer a more reliable picture of agreed sale prices, because they are based on prices at the time of mortgage approvals, compared to indices which look at properties’ asking prices.
Analysis of the lenders’ figures shows that in the five months since prices started dropping in August 2022, property values have fallen 5.7pc – a £16,111 drop.
In the first five months of the financial crisis when prices started to fall in the autumn of 2007, house prices fell the exact same amount in percentage terms, as the chart shows.
House prices then went on to fall by as much as 20pc in 2008.
If today’s prices were to follow the same pattern, the value of the average home would fall from £284,000 to about £227,000 – a drop of nearly £60,000 peak-to-trough.
Property prices are widely expected to fall as soaring mortgage rates limit how much buyers can borrow.
However, property experts are hopeful the reality may not be as bad as the figures currently suggest.
Estate agent Knight Frank is only expecting prices to fall 5pc this year. Tom Bill, of the real estate firm, said there are a few similarities between the 2008 housing market and today’s. “Unemployment is low and supply is still relatively constrained, which will both support prices,” he said.
The mortgage market is also entering a period of “relative stability”, he said, following the volatility sparked by Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget. “After buyers switched off early for Christmas, demand has come back strongly so far this year.”
Even gloomy forecasts by analysts Oxford Economics and Capital Economics say that prices will fall by 12pc in 2023 compared to the 18pc drop recorded from 2008 to 2009.
But while the fall may not be as steep as in 2008, it could be more prolonged. Prices fell for 16 consecutive months in the financial crisis. However analysts Oxford Economics are forecasting this slump to last 24 months.
Sign up to the Front Page newsletter for free: Your essential guide to the day’s agenda from The Telegraph – direct to your inbox seven days a week.